Sutton Picks Haas Cink as Wild Cards

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 16, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupU.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton selected Jay Haas and Stewart Cink as wild cards to round out the American team.
 
'I want to congratulate everyone who made this team, and I especially want to congratulate Jay and Stewart,' said Sutton. 'They are not only great players, but they're great human beings. This team has been rounded out very nicely with their additions.''
 
Seven players had clinched a spot regardless of what happened at the year's final major: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry, David Toms and Chad Campbell.
 
'I had about five guys on my mind the entire time,' said Sutton of the wild-card picks. 'Somebody could have changed that yesterday - and there were a lot of changes. But Stewart and Jay were on my mind the entire time.'
 
Chris DiMarco and Chris Riley played themselves into the Ryder Cup with their performances Sunday in the PGA Championship. DiMarco finished second after a three-man, three-hole playoff and Riley was fourth -- good enough to knock Haas and Steve Flesch out of the top 10 in the Ryder Cup point standings.
 
Justin Leonard needed to win the tournament to make the team.
 
'Justin Leonard played great,' said Sutton. 'But I just couldn't pick him because of just one event. I tried to make this over a longer period of time.'
 
The two who made the team - Haas and Cink - were the lucky ones.
 
'They played well for quite a period of time here,' said Sutton. 'Both of them in the top 25 in putting. Both are great drivers. Both are good iron players. Neither one are what I would call prolific long hitters - but too bad, so sad guys, I'm one of those guys, too.'
 
DiMarco made two double bogeys the final round at the '01 PGA, four strokes that kept him from making the U.S. team that year. He only needed an eighth-place tie to make it this year.
 
After hitting his 6-iron onto the green at No. 18, 'I looked at my caddie and said, 'That's good enough, for sure,'' DiMarco said. 'I'm proud of myself that I went out and did it.'
 
Riley missed a 4-foot putt on the 18th and thought that kept off the team, but he made it when Leonard didn't.
 
Fred Funk, 48, would have been knocked off the team only if Leonard, Riley and DiMarco had all made it. Having missed the cut, he was watching on television and doing the calculations in his head.
 
'It hasn't really hit me yet, other than I'm getting a million phone calls,' Funk told The Associated Press. 'That was my goal going into this year. To have it actually happen at this stage in my career, it's a great way to finish my regular tour career.'
 
Funk played in the Presidents Cup last year at Fancourt in South Africa, where DiMarco made a clutch putt on the 17th hole on the final day. 'Hal said, 'Just take that moment, with a Ryder Cup on American soil, and multiply it by a 100,'' Funk said.
 
Flesch, who came to Whistling Straits ninth in the standings, and Haas, who was 10th, were the big losers in the wild scramble that determined the majority of the team. Haas, of course, eventually was selected.
 
'It's out of my hands now. I had my chance and I didn't play that well this week,' Flesch said. 'I'm tired of hearing about it. I can't wait until he makes his two picks and it's over.'
 
Jeff Maggert, who was 13th in the standings and needing to move up, withdrew because his wife gave birth to twins. By Sunday, after cuts and withdrawals, there were 17 players left in contention for the three spots up for grabs.
 
'It's out of my hands now,' said Sutton. 'I didn't have but two choices.'
 
Cink needed a sixth place and finished 17th. Scott Verplank needed to finish ninth and came in 62nd. Todd Hamilton needed a seventh and got a 37th. Seven golfers, including Leonard, needed to win and didn't.
 
Haas, 50, was the second-oldest player ever picked for the team, second only to Raymond Floyd in '93. Haas last played in the Ryder Cup in '95 at Oak Hill. On the 18th hole of the deciding match, he popped up his tee shot on his way to making bogey, losing to Philip Walton and giving Europe the win.
 
Sutton himself missed the cut at Whistling Straits. He spent the last two days in his hotel room watching the tournament on television with the volume turned down.
 
Related links:
  • U.S. and European Ryder Cup Points List

  • Full Coverage - 35th Ryder Cup

  •  
    The Associated Press was also used existensively in this report.
    Getty Images

    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

    Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm